If you’re overweight and/or want to get into better shape, then weight loss can be a positive goal to set. By losing weight and continuing to maintain a healthy weight, you’re decreasing your risk of illness, such as heart disease (including the risk of heart attack or stroke), diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In fact, losing as little as 5% of your body weight can significantly reduce cholesterol levels. That being said, it’s important to make the way in which you are losing your weight is done so in a healthy way. Too often will people turn to things like fad diets or look for other quick and easy solutions for weight loss without realizing that they could actually be doing much more harm to their bodies than good – not to mention the results are usually only temporary, and the weight is often gained back, leaving one feeling more discouraged than before they started on their weight loss journey.

One of the most common things that people turn to when wanting to lose weight is exercise. This, combined with a healthy diet, is one of the best ways for someone to achieve results. However, believe it or not, there is also such thing as getting too much exercise, and it can even become an unhealthy obsession for some. Whenever you’re starting a new exercise routine, you need to pace yourself – meaning you need to avoid doing too much at one time or avoid doing something too quickly. For adults who are overweight or obese, they may need to exceed the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, but if exercise it new to you, then my recommendation is to start slow. This will allow your body to adapt to the change that it is experiencing, and help you build up a tolerance to physical activity that you may not have been otherwise used to. One way to start out is by going for short 30-minute walks around your neighbourhood. From there, you can increase the length of your exercise routine as well as try new things, such as transitioning from walking to jogging, and even lifting weights. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

As mentioned, food also plays an important role in weight loss. The one mistake that people will often make is completely cutting out certain foods, such as those containing carbohydrates, when, in fact, our bodies actually need carbs for certain functions. For example, carb-containing foods make glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy. In addition, carbohydrates can also be a source of vitamins and minerals. Examples of healthy carbs include fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes. As for other carbs, such as butter or cream cheese, these likely won’t result in you gaining any weight as long as they are consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. It’s also important that you don’t skip meals. Many people will think that as long as they starve themselves and feel hungry, they’ll get thin – but this is just another example of an unhealthy way of going about losing weight. By avoiding food, you will not only not be getting any of the essential nutrients you need, but you’ll also become more irritable and have a higher chance of craving and binging on unhealthy foods later on. If you want to feel fuller, drink water. While water itself won’t make you lose weight, it does decrease your desire to want to snack on things in-between meals.

Staying on the subject of food, it’s also commonly misbelieved that switching to a vegan diet is another way of losing weight. While there are many reasons why someone might choose to go vegan, and while a vegan diet can certainly help with weight loss, it can be just as unhealthy as a non-vegan diet as there are also plenty of vegan foods, including chocolate and potato chips, that are considered just as unhealthy as the traditional diet. So always be careful and read labels on the foods you’re purchasing. For tips on healthy vegan dieting, click here. Furthermore, people also think that switching to diet soda will help them lose weight as opposed to drinking regular, non-diet soda. However, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, and some research has found that these actually not only increase cravings but may also even result in sugar dependency. Laxative teas are another problem, as they can result in an imbalance of electrolytes (and your bowels will ultimately become dependent on them) as well as a range of other health issues.

To achieve the best results on your weight loss journey, it’s important you come up with a healthy plan, and make sure that it is tailored to you and your needs. You may also benefit from the help of a personal trainer, or a dietitian/nutritionist.